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‘Patients will die’: NJ governor was warned in March about nursing home policy’s deadly consequences

It’s not only New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo who is justifiably in hot water for implementing a deadly policy that forced nursing home facilities to accept coronavirus-positive patients who had been discharged from the hospital, against admonitions from long-term care directors. Now, Cuomo’s tri-state counterpart, New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, is facing mounting scrutiny for implementing a similar policy and ignoring warnings, as well.

Last week, TheBlaze highlighted that a medical director in New York attempted to sound the alarm about the inevitable consequences of the state’s dangerous policy on March 26 — the day after it was issued — desperate to get word out. But despite her best efforts, she couldn’t get through to the governor’s office. Thousands of elderly New Yorkers would tragically die as a result of the policy. But to many nursing home leaders, that sad outcome was entirely avoidable.

According to NJ Advance Media, a similar situation played out in New Jersey. The outlet noted that on March 31, following in New York’s footsteps, the state’s health department issued an order requiring nursing homes to “accept non-critically ill residents who had been discharged from the hospital, but who were still recovering from the coronavirus.”

The policy was reportedly announced in a tense conference call with hundreds of long-term care facility directors, a recording of which was recently obtained by the outlet. During the call, as New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli laid out the directive, her words were reportedly met with palpable exasperation and pushback from facility directors.

“Patients will die,” an unidentified administrator declared. “You understand that by asking us to take COVID patients, by demanding we take COVID patients, that patients will die in nursing homes that wouldn’t have otherwise died had we screened them out.”

But the warnings were not heeded. In April, the Society of Licensed Nursing Home Administrators of New Jersey penned an op-ed claiming nursing home directors “screamed from the rooftops to deaf ears” and ultimately “were an afterthought” amid the early stages of the pandemic. The policy’s implementation brought a “storm” of deaths and infections, the group stated.

In May, Sidney Greenberger, CEO of AristaCare Health Services, which operates six nursing home facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, said plainly, “Those officials ordered COVID-positive patients into those long-term care facilities without providing necessary support.”

According to the COVID Tracking Project, New York and New Jersey have two of the highest state totals for virus-caused nursing home deaths.

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New York state Democratic Party committee members launch resolution to censure Gov. Cuomo over nursing home scandal

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been facing increased bipartisan heat from lawmakers in the Empire State over his growing nursing home scandal.

Republican lawmakers have proposed an impeachment commission to toss Cuomo from the governor’s mansion after he purposefully underreported and hid the true number of COVID-related deaths in New York nursing homes that came as a result of his order to send coronavirus patients to long-term care facilities.

Democratic lawmakers have accused Cuomo of obstruction of justice over the nursing home reporting scandal, the New York Post said. And a significant number of legislative Democrats have joined their GOP counterparts in pushing legislation to curb Cuomo’s emergency powers.

Now, the governor’s political headache is getting worse.

Following reports that Cuomo threatened a Democratic lawmaker for daring to call out his “BS” surrounding the scandal — a tactic that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) called “classic Andrew Cuomo” — eleven elected members of the state Democratic Party submitted a resolution to censure the governor, the Post reported Monday.

The censure resolution, according to the Post, lays out several reasons for the rebuke, including:

  • Undercounting nursing home COVID deaths by 50%, a fact that was not revealed until the New York attorney general released a report of her own investigation;
  • Cuomo “repeatedly stymied and refused” to hand over information about the nursing home deaths to state lawmakers, and his office admitted that the cover-up was done to protect political interests;
  • The governor “personally and inappropriately threatened” lawmakers who dared to call out the cover-up; and
  • Cuomo “sought to deceive the public, the legislature, and the U.S. DOJ and frame the issue as one of partisan politics rather than a genuine concern” and has failed to take responsibility for his order that nursing homes take coronavirus patients.

The 11 party leaders had no kind words to offer the governor.

One of those leaders, state committee member Emilia Decaudin, said it was time to hold the governor accountable for his actions.

“Actions have consequences,” Decaudin said, according to the Post. “I consider it my responsibility as a representative of the Democrats in my community to hold members of our party accountable, from City Council up to the Governor. The continued wrong doing of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo must be repudiated, or else we are no better than the Republicans who fail to hold their own leaders accountable, out of fear and self-preservation.”

Another committee member, Patrick Nelson, also went after the governor’s lack of integrity, saying, “Honesty, dignity, respect and the wellbeing of our state and country must always come before party allegiance. When a member of the Democratic Party does wrong, we seek to ensure that they are held accountable no matter how powerful they are, unlike in the Republican Party.”

The censure language also attacked Cuomo’s decision to write a book on leadership that praised himself on the handling of the pandemic — while hiding the nursing home data — the Post reported:

During this entire ordeal where the governor claims to not have had time and human resources to comply with requests for information, the governor did have time to write a book congratulating himself for New York’s COVID-19 response, have a self-congratulatory poster created and circulated before the worst of the pandemic was over.

But Cuomo likely has little to worry about. State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs told the Post the censure resolution from a very small handful of the 450 state party committee members won’t go anywhere.

“There will always be those who will see an opportunity to try to enhance their own relevance,” Jacobs said. “I don’t care for this opportunistic action at the state committee.”

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EXCLUSIVE: Alex Jones opens up about Jan. 6 at the Capitol

“I tried to get ahead and stop it but I couldn’t move,” Alex Jones recalled as he opened up about the tragic scene that unfolded Jan. 6 outside the U.S. Capitol.

During an exclusive interview with Steven Crowder, a passionate Alex described reaching the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., where he witnessed “hundreds of thousands” people at a rally with a small group of them breaching the building.

“We are running. We get there and there is tear gas and explosions, and it’s surreal,” Alex said. He recalled using a bullhorn to make the rioters stop but “by that point the crowd could not even hear him.”

Steven asked Alex if he felt responsible [as an organizer of the event] for what happened that day.

Alex said he arrived to find “flash bangs” and “people beating cops” and he was sick over it.

Watch the clip for more from Alex.

Can’t watch? Download the podcast here.


Use promo code LWC to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Steven Crowder?

To enjoy more of Steven’s uncensored late-night comedy that’s actually funny, join Mug Club — the only place for all of Crowder uncensored and on demand.

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NY attorney general reveals Cuomo administration undercounted COVID-19 nursing home deaths by 50%

New York state Democratic Attorney General Letitia James accused the Cuomo administration of severely undercounting the number of coronavirus-related deaths at nursing homes in the state by as much as 50% in a scathing new report released Thursday.

What are the details?

In the report, James determined much of the misrepresentation was due to the state counting only deaths that occurred at the actual nursing home facilities rather than including deaths that occurred at a hospital after a resident was transferred there to receive more medical care.

During the investigation, which surveyed 62 nursing homes across the state, James’ office reportedly found “consistent discrepancies between deaths reported to the attorney general’s investigators and those officially released by the Health Department,” the New York Times noted in its coverage of the matter.

The newspaper pointed to a specific instance in which an unnamed facility reported 11 confirmed and presumed deaths to the Health Department only for the attorney general’s office to later find that 40 deaths had taken place, including 27 at the home and 13 in hospitals.

“Preliminary data obtained by [the Office of Attorney General] suggests that many nursing home residents died from Covid-19 in hospitals after being transferred from their nursing homes, which is not reflected in [Department of Health’s] published total nursing home death data,” investigators said in the report.

The report also determined that a number of nursing homes “failed to comply with critical infection control policies,” such as not isolating residents who had tested positive or preemptively screening employees for infections.

“In conclusion, this preliminary data for the 62 facilities and time periods noted above suggests that COVID-19 resident deaths associated with nursing homes in New York state appear to be undercounted by DOH by approximately 50 percent,” the report stated.

Why does it matter?

The news is sure to intensify scrutiny around Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic, especially since the governor has been accused specifically of mismanaging the health crisis at nursing home facilities and directly causing thousands of preventable deaths among the state’s vulnerable elderly population.

Last March, during the initial stages of the outbreak, Cuomo issued a directive forcing nursing home facilities to accept patients who had tested positive for the virus and been discharged from the hospital. As death tolls rose in such facilities, the deadly policy became the subject of harsh criticism, yet the Cuomo administration attempted to hide that it ever existed and waited until May to officially rescind it.

In the aftermath, Cuomo has repeatedly dodged responsibility for endangering elderly New Yorkers, instead attempting to shift blame to then-President Donald Trump and Republicans.

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Two-thirds of nursing homes say they will be forced to close within a year: Report

A recent survey of nursing homes found that more than 65% say they will no longer be in business by this time next year due to the added costs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report.

What are the details?

The 19th reported that according to a survey conducted by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, “about 90 percent of nursing homes are operating at a loss or less than a 3 percent profit margin, and more than 65 percent said they will be forced to close within the year due to overwhelming pandemic-related costs.”

Long-term care facilities are being crippled by the ongoing need for additional staff, personal protective equipment, and testing costs while residency — and therefore revenue — has gone down.

The outlet reported:

Many providers rely on short-term residents, including those recovering after surgeries, to cover the cost of long-term residents…That funding stream quickly dried up at the beginning of the pandemic as hospitals halted surgeries and families grew more and more reluctant to send their loved ones into nursing homes.

Lisa Sanders, a spokesperson for health care association Leading Age said, “As the pandemic wore on, it became clear that personal protective equipment—critical resources needed to do battle—were needed in volumes that had not been budgeted for.”

The Associated Press reported Tuesday about nursing homes’ struggles finding adequate staffing as workers contract coronavirus or are forced to quarantine.

The shortages are pushing costs even higher in an industry where workers are critical.

Stephen Hanse, president and CEO of the New York State Health Facilities Association and the New York State Center for Assisted Living, told the AP, “We’re also seeing staffing agencies take advantage of the pandemic and demanding very high prices for temporary staff.” He explained, “I recently heard of a staffing agency out-of-state from Vermont that wanted to come in and for certified nursing assistants, you had to pay the staffing agency $65 an hour.”

Elderly folks are at the greatest risk of dying from COVID-19, and nursing home residents have been particularly vulnerable. According to WUSA-TV, “experts think close to 40 percent of U.S. COVID deaths are connected to long term care.”

More than 400,000 people have died in the U.S. from the coronavirus since it emerged in the country more than a year ago.

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‘Heartless monster’ NY Gov. Cuomo torn to shreds by Meghan McCain, Megyn Kelly for insult to Fox News’ Janice Dean

It hasn’t been the best kickoff of the new year for far-left New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo:

What now?

But now Cuomo may have outdone himself.

You might recall that Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean has been a vocal critic of Cuomo’s handling of New York nursing homes amid the coronavirus — particularly as she
lost both of her in-laws to COVID-19 in 2020.

Earlier this week, Dean ripped Cuomo’s botched coronavirus vaccine rollout, calling it a “disaster … it is just another leadership failure from this governor,”
Fox News reported.

“I have been covering him for about 10 months, and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he is interested in being a celebrity instead of being a governor,” she added, according to the cable network.

How did Cuomo react?

When Cuomo’s office was asked about Dean’s comments earlier this week, the response was as follows: “Last I checked, she’s not a credible source on anything except maybe the weather,” the
Wrap reported.

Uh oh.

Then what?

Fox News contributor Guy Benson had the following to say in response: ‘
Wow, what an a**hole.”

Then Meghan McCain and Megyn Kelly joined in to defend Dean:

  • “After @Janicedean lost BOTH her in-laws this year in NY nursing homes, instead of mourning with her and listening to her, Cuomo smears her,” McCain — who co-hosts “The View” —
    tweeted. “There is blood on your hands Cuomo, and we all know it. You disgust me, you absolute heartless monster.”
  • “@JaniceDean *is* an expert on how Cuomo’s orders killed 6k+ ppl, including her in-laws,” Kelly
    wrote. “She had to become one. B/c the media didn’t give a damn. And when she spoke up, the media mocked her for going beyond weather — just like Cuomo did here. And all of those ppl can F right off.”

Dean, as you might expect, was happy with the support from McCain and Kelly:

McCain added an insurance policy, later telling Dean: “I would wrestle an ox with my bare hands for you my sister. No one is going to let off what Cuomo has done to your family and so many others.”

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Gov. Cuomo wins award for coronavirus pandemic ‘leadership,’ despite New York having the most COVID-19 deaths

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo won an award for his “leadership on public safety throughout the coronavirus pandemic,” despite New York having the most COVID-19 deaths in the entire country.

Cuomo, along with Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, were the recipients of the 2020 Edward M. Kennedy Institute Award for Inspired Leadership.

“Congratulations to Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, the 2020 recipients of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute Award for Inspired Leadership for their nonpartisan leadership on public safety throughout the coronavirus pandemic on behalf of their respective states,” the Edward M. Kennedy Institute said.

The institute stated that the award “recognizes an individual who possesses qualities that reflect the legacy of Senator Edward M. Kennedy: modeling exemplary leadership, inspiring others to action, and making a difference through service to the community and country.”

The governors were presented the 2020 Edward M. Kennedy Institute Award by presidential debate moderator and NBC News White House Correspondent Kristen Welker in a virtual ceremony on Wednesday.

Massachusetts has suffered 1,626 coronavirus deaths per million people, third worst in the nation. While Cuomo’s New York has 1,816 COVID-19 deaths per million people, the second worst in the United States, only trailing New Jersey. New York has the most COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., with more than 35,000, which is 11,000 more than Texas, which has the second most.

Cuomo has been widely criticized for his directive on March 25 to send coronavirus patients into nursing homes. A report from the Associated Press estimated that more than 4,500 recovering COVID-19 patients were sent to New York’s already vulnerable nursing homes because of Cuomo’s directive.

Cuomo finally ended the dangerous directive on May 10. By the middle of May, there were 5,800 COVID-19 deaths in nursing and adult care facilities in New York — more than in any other state.

Last month, it was announced that Cuomo won an Emmy. The governor was declared the winner of the International Emmy Founder’s Award “in recognition of his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and his masterful use of television to inform and calm people around the world.”

Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean, who lost her elderly in-laws to the coronavirus in a New York City nursing home earlier this year, blasted the decision to reward Cuomo.

“It’s just more grief. Every time we see this governor celebrating himself on television, it’s just a reminder of the people that we lost, partly because of his leadership,” Dean said.

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Experts: Tens of thousands of nursing home residents died from neglect and ‘despair’ during the COVID-19 pandemic

Experts found that tens of thousands of people in nursing homes “have died from neglect and sorrow related to the pandemic,” according to an eye-opening report from the Associated Press.

The report stated that there have been more than 97,000 residents of U.S. nursing homes who have died during the coronavirus pandemic. A nursing home expert analyzed 15,000 U.S. long-term care facilities and estimates that for every two coronavirus victims in nursing homes, there is a person who died prematurely of other causes.

The report stated that the “excess deaths” in nursing homes could total over 40,000 since March.

“Interviews with dozens of people across the country reveal swelling numbers of less clear-cut deaths that doctors believe have been fueled not by neglect but by a mental state plunged into despair by prolonged isolation listed on some death certificates as ‘failure to thrive,'” the AP reported.

Nursing home watchdogs claim that they have been “flooded” with reports of nursing home inhabitants suffering from neglect, including people being “kept in soiled diapers so long their skin peeled off, left with bedsores that cut to the bone, and allowed to wither away in starvation or thirst.”

The article featured several surviving family members of the victims who have died at long-term care facilities for alleged neglect. Barbara Leak-Watkins’ 87-year-old Army veteran father, Alex Leak, went for a check-up in February, where he reportedly “had gone so long without water his potassium levels rocketed and his kidneys started failing.”

Leak-Watkins, who is from North Carolina, said her father served in the military and always stressed the need to stay hydrated.

“The facility is short-staffed … underpaid and overworked,” Leak-Watkins told the AP, adding that if the nursing home “can’t provide you with liquids and fluids to hydrate yourself, there’s something wrong.”

According to his death certificate, Leak died two weeks later of lactic acidosis, a buildup of lactic acid that can cause liver and kidney damage, which can be fatal.

Donald Wallace, a 75-year-old living at a nursing home in Alabama, “became so malnourished and dehydrated that he dropped to 98 pounds and looked to his son like he’d been in a concentration camp.” Wallace suffered from septic shock and had “E. coli in his body from his own feces.”

“He couldn’t even hold his head up straight because he had gotten so weak,” his son, Kevin Amerson, said. “They stopped taking care of him. They abandoned him.”

Stephen Kaye, a professor at the Institute on Health and Aging at the University of California, San Francisco, who conducted the analysis for the Associated Press, explained how the COVID-19 pandemic affected long-term care residents who weren’t directly suffering from coronavirus.

“The healthcare system operates kind of on the edge, just on the margin, so that if there’s a crisis, we can’t cope,” Kaye said. “There are not enough people to look after the nursing home residents.”

The nursing home trade group, American Health Care Association, dismissed the AP report of tens of thousands of long-term care facility non-coronavirus fatalities as “speculation,” adding that the “disturbing stories” are not widespread.

Nursing home neglect deaths up in COVID shadow

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Horowitz: Putting our seniors in solitary confinement is costing, not saving, lives

This is the new normal. You must remain isolated from people for years to come until we are into the second generation of vaccines.

That is essentially the plan from our elites, who are pushing panic, fear, and social isolation until years into the discovery of a vaccine – if they ever stop at all. It is utterly insane to do this to younger and healthier people given how nebulous a threat the virus poses to them compared to the collateral damage of lockdown policies and social isolation. But what is often forgotten in the shuffle is that locking down seniors for this long – even allowing for the fact that the virus poses a greater risk to them – is not an option either. It is a death sentence.

COVID-19 poses the greatest threat to those in the final months and years of their lives, often the same people who are experiencing declining mental health in addition to physical ailments. Insisting that they remain away from their families and pursuit of happiness under all circumstances indefinitely for the next number of years, however, is tantamount to putting them in the grave early. The fatality rate of COVID-19 could be statistically high to people in this cohort, but complete lockdowns leading to atrophy will cause a 100% death rate and ensure that the life they lived in their remaining months and years was not much of a life.

Last week, Dr. Laurie Archbald-Pannone, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Virginia, observed that during the summer of 2020, the number of dementia-related deaths was 20% higher than last year. A similar phenomenon has already been observed in the U.K. That there are 20% excess deaths among those recorded as having died of dementia is astounding given that we already know COVID-19 deaths are liberally coded. We know that anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 in a nursing home and subsequently died of Alzheimer’s was still recorded as a COVID death. I know many friends, relatives, and podcast listeners who had parents enduring the days of Alzheimer’s, and they received a death certificate, much to their shock, listing coronavirus as the cause of death.

Hence, this 20% excess is over and beyond those who died of COVID-19 or even with the virus.

Robert Anderson, chief of mortality statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview with Politico that this finding is “highly unusual.” “There’s something wrong, there’s something going on and it needs to be sorted out,” he said when this data was first observed by the CDC in September.

Well, we don’t need Sherlock Holmes to investigate what is going on with our seniors. As Dr. Archbald-Pannone observes, “Social isolation, which essentially is little or no contact with others, is the last thing seniors with dementia need. But it’s what many have received, as caregivers are forced to limit visits during the pandemic.” It stands to reason that someone who is already suffering cognitive decline who faces today’s depressing and lonely world foisted upon us by the elites is going to decline rapidly. It’s likely this has already happened.

It’s one thing to be more careful with seniors; it’s quite another for long-term care facilities to shut out all family members indefinitely or even for seniors still living in their own homes to be completely abandoned by their children because they are convinced they can’t get anywhere near them. This is unacceptable, and any virus mitigation efforts even for seniors requires more precision and nuance that is based in observed science as to who they can see and under what circumstances.

For example, in Switzerland, it was understood already in April that the ability of grandparents to hug their grandchildren could be a matter of life and death. Switzerland confidently proclaimed that kids under 10 do not spread in any meaningful way and advised grandparents to hug their grandchildren.

My son, while he was struggling with the closure of school last year, developed a great relationship with his grandparents by spending time keeping them company. They also held our new baby girl since her birth in April. I know many others who refused to do this. They are undoubtedly well-intentioned, but are they considering the emotional cost and are they following the science?

Now that we see that children barely spread the virus, it’s quite obvious that babies most certainly do not. Babies rarely test positive even for asymptomatic cases. One study of 101 babies born to mothers with COVID-19 in a New York hospital during the peak of the pandemic in March found that just two had positive test results, “but none had clinical evidence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), despite most infants rooming-in with mothers and direct breastfeeding.”

It’s one thing to suggest that we err on the side of caution for a few weeks, but to do this indefinitely is erring on the side of death and decline. Even for those in nursing homes, who are certainly at high risk to get seriously ill from coronavirus, a categorical ban on relatives is not an option. There are so many people who have gone without seeing their own spouses, much less children and grandchildren, during the final months of their lives. With mass testing available, there is no reason a strict testing regime can’t carefully allow a limited number of family members to visit under the right circumstances and environments. Solitary confinement is unacceptable. There’s a reason even hardened prisoners fear this form of punishment.

Steve McLaughlin, county executive of Rensselaer County, New York, spoke on my podcast last week about his rally in the state capital to call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to open nursing homes to visitors. “You literally have people locked up inside nursing homes that are being denied the human compassion and human touch of their own families,” bemoaned the independent-minded county executive who represents the cities east of the state capital. “Even though those families can test negative for COVID, they are still not being allowed in.”

He pointed out how Cuomo is the same person who asked him and other county executives in March to place COVID-positive patients in nursing homes. Now he is overcorrecting the other way and killing people with imperious lockdown policies. McLaughlin said he defied Cuomo’s “evil” directive in March and, as a result, didn’t lose a single individual in his county-run nursing home. Likewise, he opened up outside family visitation under certain circumstances even before testing was widely available, despite Cuomo’s order. “Why are we pushing these people closer and closer to death by denying them their family?” said McLaughlin. It’s unconscionable.”

Aside from not allowing carefully planned visits, there is a more fundamental and counterproductive flaw in the lockdown strategy. By keeping younger people socially isolated to some degree, policies are ensuring that seniors remain caught between the dangers of the virus and atrophy for longer than necessary. We are now seeing tens of thousands of cases among college students, with very few hospitalizations and no deaths. Imagine if the colleges had never closed. We’d be closer to Sweden in terms of achieving partial herd immunity and making it safer for seniors in a shorter period of time.

Yet thanks to these policies, seniors are now facing the double-edged sword of an agonizingly drawn-out viral spread and a reaction to it that is even more deadly.

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Jake Tapper obliterates Gov. Cuomo for ignoring New York’s lethal pandemic failures during his ‘victory tour’

CNN host Jake Tapper excoriated New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his “victory tour” on his state’s coronavirus response when so many were hurt and even died from his “missteps and late actions.”

Tapper began his complaints against the governor on Twitter and moved on to his news show Tuesday on CNN. He cited Cuomo’s appearance on late night talk shows and a bizarre poster he published to celebrate his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“NY state has lost more than 32,000 lives to COVID-19. So while it’s great that the numbers have gone down, it’s perplexing to see crowing, Cuomo going on Fallon, etc.,” Tapper tweeted.

“No other state has lost as many lives, not even close. New Jersey is next with 17,000+,” he added.

“Yes, this has been a major challenge for every leader, but New York’s leaders do not have a success story to tell. It’s been about missteps and late actions,” Tapper continued in a second tweet where he linked a New York Times article documenting New York’s response failures.

Tapper added links to more criticism against Cuomo in the New Yorker, and from CNN on the nursing home disaster.

“It’s great that the numbers have gone down, and I hope to God they stay there. But New York’s leaders were late and made many mistakes; it’s been an absolute tragedy,” Tapper added.

The Lead with Jake Tapper

Tapper went on to bash Cuomo and his self-congratulatory poster in commentary on his show Tuesday.

“The Governor Andrew Cuomo seems to be on something of a victory tour congratulating the state and himself for defeating the virus, even selling this poster which shows his state getting over the mountain by bringing down the curve, during the ‘111 days of hell,’ as the governor put it,” Tapper said.

“The poster includes references to his daughters and a boyfriend, little inside jokes,” he explained.

“There are no illustrations, however, of the more than 32,000 dead New Yorkers, the highest death toll by far, of any state,” Tapper continued.

“No rendering on that poster of criticism that Governor Cuomo ignored warnings, no depiction of the study that he could have saved thousands of lives had he and Mayor [Bill] de Blasio acted sooner,” he added. “No painting on that poster of his since-rescinded order that nursing homes take all infected patients in.”

Tapper went on to excoriate Cuomo for “crowing” about his accomplishments, calling it a campaign of “revisionism.”

Here’s the video of Tapper’s criticism:

Tapper calls out NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Covid-19 victory lap

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More than 6,300 COVID-19 patients were sent into New York nursing homes, state report reveals

A new report from the state of New York revealed Monday that more than 6,300 COVID-19 patients were admitted into hundreds of nursing homes throughout the state, which certainly contributed to the thousands of nursing home-related COVID-19 deaths in the state.

The Associated Press reported that more than 6,400 of New York’s COVID-19 deaths were linked to long-term care facilities or nursing homes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) implemented a state policy requiring nursing homes to admit patients even if they tested positive. The policy was put in place on March 25 and rescinded after severe backlash in May.

Even though the report from the New York Department of Health admits to sending 6,300 infected people into extremely vulnerable populations, state officials still claim the policy was not to blame for the high death toll.

“If the March 25th NYSDOH policy on admissions uniquely impacted nursing home fatalities, New York’s — and the roughly 12 other states with similar policies — nursing home fatalities would be disproportionate to the rest of the country,” the report reads. “Not only has a recent report by the New York Times, found that New York’s nursing home fatalities were not disproportionate to the rest of the nation (See, Background, Infra.), neighboring states — despite having populations much lower than New York’s — illustrates that on a per capita basis, New York has one of the lowest fatality rates in nursing homes of any of its neighboring states.”

The report also claims that most of the nursing homes already had COVID-19 infections when other infected individuals were admitted, More from the report:

A statewide nursing home survey conducted by NYSDOH for admission data from March 25, 2020- May 8, 2020 show that approximately 6,326 COVID-19 patients were admitted from a hospital to a total of 310 unique nursing homes. Of the 310 nursing homes that admitted COVID-19 patients, 252 of them already had a suspected or confirmed COVID-positive resident, COVID-related confirmed or presumed fatality, or worker infected prior to admission of a single COVID-positive patient—meaning the admission of a COVID patient did not introduce COVID into the nursing home as it was already present. Furthermore, 222 of the state’s nursing homes already had residents with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 prior to the March 25, 2020 NYSDOH guidance.

“The peak of nursing home admissions from hospitals did not occur until April 14, 2020, a week after peak nursing home fatalities—suggesting the policy was not the cause,” the report says.

New York state officials have not accepted accountability for the nursing home deaths — in fact, Gov. Cuomo has blamed President Donald Trump and the federal government’s alleged lack of assistance for the nursing home issues.

(H/T: The Daily Caller)

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Report: Almost half of all COVID-19 deaths are linked to nursing homes; Gov. Cuomo complains of ‘political heat’

Nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths in the United States are connected to nursing homes and long-term care centers, according to a new report from the New York Times.

The analysis found that there were more than 54,000 residents and workers at nursing homes and long-term care centers who have died from coronavirus-related illnesses. There were over 282,000 people infected at 12,000 senior facilities across the country. COVID-19 cases at nursing homes made up only 11% of all COVID-19 cases, but accounted for approximately 43% of the total U.S. deaths.

There were 24 states that had more than half of all COVID-19 deaths linked to nursing homes. New Hampshire was the highest at 80% of coronavirus deaths connected to long-term facilities, followed by Minnesota at 77%, Rhode Island at 77%, and Connecticut at 73%.

New York was only at 21%, but they have by far the most total coronavirus deaths in the U.S. with over 31,000 as of Sunday afternoon. New York has recorded the most coronavirus-related nursing home deaths with 6,250, followed by Massachusetts at 5,115, and Pennsylvania at 4,518. That’s compared to only 293 in New Hampshire and 715 in Rhode Island.

“I don’t know if we’ve gotten a full and correct accounting of how many people died of COVID-19 in nursing homes and how many nursing residents transferred to hospitals died of COVID,” state Senate ­Finance Committee Chairwoman Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) told the New York Post.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the criticisms that he has received over the thousands of nursing home-related coronavirus deaths are politically-based. Cuomo appeared on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, where the Democratic governor dodged taking responsibility in nursing home fatalities.

“I’ve taken political heat, OK. There’s facts and then there’s politics,” Cuomo told NBC News’ Chuck Todd when asked if senior centers were safe.

Cuomo blamed the nursing home deaths in New York on “staff that got infected and brought it in.”

“But in New York, we’re No. 46 in the nation in terms of percentage of deaths at nursing homes compared to the total percentage. By the New York Times, we’re No. 46,” Cuomo said, referring to the New York Times report. “So, it’s been unfortunate. In every state, we have to do more. We have to figure it out, but if they want to point fingers, not at New York. We’re No. 46. You have 45 other states to point fingers at first.”

“They are as safe – well, in this state we’re testing every week every nursing home employee,” Cuomo told Todd. “So you could argue that they are safer than a senior citizen at home who is receiving care at home. The safest environment? My mother? Stay home, don’t see anyone. If you are at home and you have an aide coming in, that aide is not tested. In a nursing home, the staff is being tested once a week. And seniors do have to be careful, wherever they are.”

A report from the Associated Press in May found that more than 4,300 recovering COVID-19 patients were sent to nursing homes and long-term care facilities under Cuomo’s directive.

Cuomo’s directive on March 25, which was in place until it was rescinded on May 10, sent coronavirus-infected elderly patients who were discharged from hospitals to “New York’s already vulnerable nursing homes.”

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All of these people should be in PRISON — Steve Deace Show

Wednesday, Steve Deace Show host Steve Deace presented a list of six governors that should be in prison their morally reprehensible public policies enforced during the COVID-19 outbreak. Policies that ultimately took the lives of thousands within the vulnerable elderly nursing home community. Here’s Steve to explain. “Someone must pay….”

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Here are the 10 states where the share of COVID-19 deaths coming from nursing homes are the highest

We’ve all heard about the disproportionate share of COVID-19 deaths happening in America’s nursing homes.

A recently reported study from the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity showed that while only 0.6% of Americans live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, that population makes up more than 42% of the nation’s COVID-19 deaths.

The topic has been used to bludgeon some elected leadership — especially New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. One of the biggest attacks on Cuomo has been his role in some 5,000 deaths in his state’s nursing homes following his March 25 executive order forcing nursing homes to accept coronavirus-positive people.

But did you know New York’s reported nursing home deaths as a share of the state’s COVID-19 deaths are the lowest in the nation? The Empire State has seen 13.8% of its COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes. (However, some analysts have pointed out that New York’s reporting might not be accurate.) The second-lowest rate so far is Nevada’s 23.9%, according to a newly updated FREOPP report.

In fact, because New York is such an outlier considering its high share of overall coronavirus cases and deaths as well as its data reporting methods, if the state’s data is removed from the calculations, the nursing home share of COVID-19 deaths nationwide jumps to 52%.

What’s happening in the states?

So, which states are seeing the highest share of COVID-19 deaths in their long-term care facilities?

FREOPP looked at state-by-state data, and found that, among states that break out deaths by residential categories, about 60% of them have seen more than half of their COVID-19 fatalities come from nursing homes.

Only two states — the aforementioned New York and Nevada — have seen less than a third of their COVID-19 deaths come from nursing homes.

Below are the states where nursing home deaths are the greatest share of COVID-19 deaths.

No word yet on how the leadership in these states will be held accountable.

Top 10 states where the share of COVID-19 deaths coming from nursing homes are the highest

No. 1: MINNESOTA — 81.4% of all COVID-19 deaths

No. 2: RHODE ISLAND — 77% of all COVID-19 deaths

No. 3: OHIO — 70% of all COVID-19 deaths

No. 4: NEW HAMPSHIRE — 69.8% of all COVID-19 deaths

No. 5: PENNSYLVANIA — 69.2% of all COVID-19 deaths

No. 6: DELAWARE — 64.2% of all COVID-19 deaths

No. 7: NORTH CAROLINA — 63.3% of all COVID-19 deaths

No. 8: VIRGINIA — 62.8% of all COVID-19 deaths

No. 9: MASSACHUSETTS — 61.9% of all COVID-19 deaths

No. 10: WASHINGTON — 61.1% of all COVID-19 deaths

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New data shows 42% of all COVID-19 deaths have been in nursing homes. When NY is excluded, the rate jumps to 52%.

One of the long-running debates over the ongoing coronavirus lockdowns has been the disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths in America’s nursing homes and how those deaths have skewed the data used to set public policy.

It seems that everyone understands that residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities are the most vulnerable among us. But now we have research that shows just how vulnerable they have been.

New data from the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity has revealed that an estimated 42.4% of all COVID-19 deaths have been in nursing homes and assisted living facilities (or residential care homes).

To show how disproportionate those deaths are compared to the rest of the country, the report points out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 5.1 million people live in those types of facilities and represent only 1.6% of the total U.S. population.

Yes, 1.6% of the population accounts for 42.4% of all COVID deaths in the U.S. From FREOPP:

Among states reporting nursing home fatalities, death from COVID-19 has struck 0.64% of U.S. residents of nursing homes and residential care facilities. We estimate that 5.1 million Americans over 65 live in nursing homes and residential care facilities; by extrapolating 0.64% across the entire U.S. nursing and residential care home population, we estimate that nursing homes account for 42.4% of COVID-19 fatalities.

The rates are even more disproportionate if you remove New York state’s data, which is an outlier because of the state’s high share of overall coronavirus cases and deaths as well as its data reporting methods.

When New York’s COVID-19 deaths are removed from the equation, nursing homes account for 51.8% of all COVID-19 deaths. More from FREOPP:

This estimate excludes New York State, which is an outlier in terms of its reported share of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes. A number of policymakers in New York have alleged that nursing home facilities in that state have been underreporting their COVID-19 fatality figures, possibly because New York State counts as hospital deaths those of nursing home residents who die in a hospital. It could also be that the high number of non-long-term care deaths in New York explain the lower percentage (i.e., a much larger denominator).

What about the rest of the world?

The report noted that the United States’ experience with nursing home COVID-19 deaths is not unique.

A study from the International Long Term Care Policy Network looked at deaths in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, FREOPP said.

According to the international study, 40.8% of reported COVID-19 deaths occurred in nursing homes.

Public policy recommendation

The FREOPP report says that the data shows there are “substantial flaws” in the public policy management of the coronavirus. More attention needs to be paid to COVID-19 infections in nursing homes and among the elderly.

According to the report, “those older than 65 are 26 times as likely to die of COVID-19 than those aged 25 to 54.”

The people at FREOPP recommended that state and local governments reorient policy responses “away from younger and healthier people, and toward the elderly, and especially elderly individuals living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.”

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Gov. Cuomo still refuses to take responsibility for nursing home deaths — now he’s blaming President Trump

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo still refuses to accept any sort of accountability for the thousands of nursing home deaths after he ordered the homes to accept coronavirus-positive patients.

Now he’s trying to blame President Donald Trump for the death count, the New York Post revealed.

What did Cuomo say?

The state of New York has seen more than 5,000 coronavirus deaths in its nursing homes, deaths that occurred following Cuomo’s order that nursing homes must take patients who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The governor’s order was a death sentence for thousands of people, but he rejects any sort of culpability for it.

First, he tried to blame nursing homes, saying that he wouldn’t have had to make the order had nursing homes not irrationally refused to accept people infected with the coronavirus. He added that nursing homes should have been able to care for those infected patients with separate staffers, and if they couldn’t, then it was on them to move a patient or ask the state to set up a transfer.

Then, he waved off the tragic nursing home death toll by saying the vulnerable people were going to die anyway.

Now, he wants people to believe the president caused the deaths.

During a news conference Wednesday, Cuomo faced more questions about the tragic nursing home deaths. He responded that the media and his critics should “ask President Trump.”

“Look, this is a political season. I get it. I have refrained from politics,” he said. “I’m not going to get into the political back and forth.

“Anyone who wants to ask why did the state do that with COVID patients and nursing homes, it’s because the state followed President Trump’s CDC guidance,” Cuomo continued. “So they should ask President Trump.

“The CDC guidance said a nursing home cannot discriminate against a COVID patient,” the governor claimed, according to the Post.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers are demanding an independent investigation into New York’s nursing home fiasco, Newsday reported.

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New York officials admit to quietly changing coronavirus counting standards to mislead on nursing home deaths

Officials in New York state admit that they tried to quietly change their coronavirus death count standards in such a way that would underreport those deaths at nursing homes.

The statistical sleight-of-hand was reported by the Daily Caller on Friday.

The New York State Department of Health acknowledged in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation that it only reported as coronavirus deaths those from long-term care patients that died while physically present at their facility.

Previous to around March 3, they were reported whether they died at their facility or at a hospital.

The change would underreport the count of “nursing home” deaths at a time when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is under fire for the policy forcing nursing homes to take in coronavirus patients.

On Sunday, Cuomo rescinded the policy after scathing criticism.

New York has the highest number of nursing home deaths in the country, with 5,433 reported deaths as of reporting from Wednesday.

The revelation from the Daily Caller points to efforts from New York state officials to hide the true number of deaths from the coronavirus at nursing homes.

The report said that spokespeople from the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts confirmed that they counted nursing home deaths whether they occurred at a hospital or at their facility.

Here’s more about the botched New York response to coronavirus:

Gov. Cuomo is CLUELESS About his Own Coronavirus Recovery | Stu Does America

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Nursing homes that failed to protect residents from COVID-19 shielded by provision snuck into state budget

New York nursing homes, which have been devastated by COVID-19, are legally shielded by a little-known provision snuck into the state budget by aides to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), the New York Times reported.

More than 5,300 nursing home residents have died in New York of COVID-19, at least in part due to a state mandate that nursing homes readmit people who have tested positive for the virus if they’re in stable condition. Relatives of the victims may not have any legal recourse against nursing homes that didn’t adequately protect their loved ones.

According to the Times, the measure was pushed by nursing home industry representatives and passed without the knowledge of lawmakers who failed to read the fine print of the 347-page budget document:

Many lawmakers were unaware of the language when they approved the budget a few days later. But it provided unusual legal protections for an influential industry that has been devastated by the crisis: nursing home operators.

The measure, lobbied for by industry representatives, shielded nursing homes from many lawsuits over their failure to protect residents from death or sickness caused by the coronavirus.

This provision was added to the budget in late March, when it was clear that COVID-19 was going to cause serious damage in the state, particularly among the sick and elderly. The Times reported that it would “most likely” cover harm that arose from staffing or equipment shortages, but not criminal misconduct or gross negligence.

How much responsibility nursing homes have for the sicknesses and deaths in their facilities varies, and is debatable. Some homes claim they were not able to obtain sufficient levels of equipment such as masks and gowns as they were being overwhelmed by a situation they did not anticipate.

Not everyone agrees, however.

“They can’t just shrug their shoulders and say, ‘It’s a pandemic,'” Vivian Rivera-Zayas, whose mother died of COVID-19 two days after being transferred from the home to a hospital, said, according to the Times. “There has to be accountability.”

A spokeswoman for Cuomo said the legislation was not intended to single out nursing homes, but rather applied to other health care facilities as well, such as hospitals. She also said it was “not intended to shield any bad-acting facilities.”

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo finally ends policy that forced nursing homes to take in COVID-19 patients

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Sunday that nursing homes would no longer be forced to accept patients with COVID-19 who are discharged from hospitals, according to ABC News.

More than 26,600 people in U.S. nursing homes have died with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. More than 20% of those nursing home deaths occurred in New York.

So, after more than 5,300 people died in New York nursing homes of COVID-19, even though it was well known from the beginning that the elderly were at highest risk of serious illness and death from the virus, Cuomo has finally made a change. ABC News reports:

A March 25 state health department directive said nursing homes couldn’t refuse new or returning residents because they tested positive for the virus. The policy, similar to one in neighboring New Jersey, was intended to help free up hospital beds for the sickest patients as cases surged.

Now, “we’re just not going to send a person who is positive to a nursing home after a hospital visit,” Cuomo said Sunday. He said such patients would be accommodated elsewhere, such as sites originally set up as temporary hospitals.

The policy change puts the responsibility on hospitals to find alternatives for where to send discharged patients. Despite fears about New York hospitals’ ability to handle the COVID-19 outbreak, the state’s health care system was not nearly as overwhelmed as some models projected.

The policy change doesn’t mean nursing homes can’t choose to take in patients with COVID-19 – they can still take in people from home who need care. But Cuomo urged them only to do so if they have the ability to do so safely, and said nursing homes should transfer anyone they can’t properly care for.

Cuomo also said nursing home workers will be tested twice per week, with residents getting tested as much as possible, according to ABC News.

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NY officials allowed COVID-positive workers to stay on the job at nursing homes — the facilities account for 25% of deaths in the state

New York state officials allowed nursing home workers, who had tested positive for the coronavirus but were asymptomatic carriers, to continue on the job at the facilities in the state throughout most of March and April.

The policy ended April 29 — well into the state’s battle with the pandemic — after Steuben County officials sounded the alarm over the policy. In fact, those same officials raised concern about the policy earlier in the month only to be circumvented by state officials, according to the New York Post.

This is a shocking revelation given how the virus has disproportionately ravaged nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in the state. Nursing homes have accounted for roughly 25% of the reported coronavirus deaths.

But that’s not all. Aside from allowing infected workers to continue on the job, state officials in New York also raised eyebrows last month by issuing a directive forcing nursing homes to accept infected patients from hospitals. New Jersey and California also issued similar rules.

In his report on the news, Guy Benson at Townhall wrote: “[New York Gov. Andrew] Cuomo and everyone responsible for this failure must answer for it. And how could anyone not foresee this being a massive problem?”

Nursing homes have been ravaged worldwide

While nursing home deaths in New York account for 25% of deaths in the state, some, like David C. Grabowski, a Harvard University researcher who studies nursing homes, believe that when all is said and done the numbers will be closer to half.

After all, New York made headlines again on Tuesday when a new count revealed that 1,600 previously undisclosed deaths were reported at nursing homes in the state.

Nursing home deaths currently represent half or more of the total deaths in many states across the country, including but not limited to Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Similar reporting has been true in Europe, as well:

Yet lockdown measures have not focused on nursing homes

Despite the overwhelming evidence that nursing homes are disproportionately affected by the virus outbreak, it appears that state and local leaders have been slow to focus efforts on the facilities.

In an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson Tuesday, former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson slammed lockdown proponents for ignoring the facts. Berenson has been a leading critic of the often draconian lockdown measures enacted in several states.

“I’m getting sick of people saying, ‘We don’t know much about this virus, we don’t know enough to know what the right steps are,'” Berenson said. “If that’s true, why have we shut down the world?”

Rather he insisted that actually “we do know a lot about this virus. We know the average age of death in the United States and worldwide is probably about 80 or 82, and we know about half, if not more, of the people who die in the United States die in nursing homes.”

Yet instead of focusing efforts on the protection of nursing home residents and the elderly, Berenson lamented that state and local leaders are “spending time haranguing us about masks and destroying the economy with lockdowns and every day it makes less sense and every day it’s more infuriating.”

Crazy Hypocrisy Of Leading Scientist In Favor Of Lockdowns Exposed By Tucker Carlson & Alex Berenson

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New York adds 1,600 previously undisclosed deaths to coronavirus nursing home total

The New York state health department added more than 1,600 new deaths to the total number of people who have died from COVID-19 in nursing homes, the New York Times reported.

These new deaths were people who are presumed to have died from the novel coronavirus, but that diagnosis has not been confirmed by a lab test. The total number of nursing home coronavirus deaths in New York is now listed at 4,813, which doesn’t include nursing home residents who died in hospitals.

The addition of the presumed deaths is a part of a state revision in data collection and publishing.

“This crisis and our response to it continues to evolve,” a health department spokesperson said. “And the unprecedented amount and specificity of data we are providing to the public will continue to evolve with it.”

So far, nursing homes account for about a quarter of all coronavirus deaths in New York, although David Grabowski, a Harvard University researcher who specializes in nursing homes, said that he expects nursing homes to account for half of all COVID-19 deaths in every state.

Getting accurate data out of nursing homes has been an issue during this pandemic, NYT reported:

Nursing homes had fought the release of death counts for individual facilities, arguing that a large toll might not indicate poor infection control and might scare families unnecessarily.

Even after the state started to release data about nursing home deaths on April 17, workers at several homes told The New York Times that their employers were not reporting accurate counts for fear of bad publicity.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) who has called nursing homes a “feeding frenzy” for COVID-19, has defended a state policy that requires nursing homes to admit patients even if they’ve tested positive for the coronavirus.

“There is no way for us to prevent the spread under these conditions,” Donny Tuchman, the head of the Cobble Hill Health Center in Brooklyn, said in an email to the state health department in early April. At least 55 of his patients have died of the coronavirus.

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Federal gov’t considering easing infection control requirements for nursing homes despite coronavirus deaths

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed attention to a proposed rules change by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that would, among other changes, ease infection control requirements for nursing homes, USA Today reported.

What’s the proposal? Last year, before the coronavirus pandemic, CMS proposed a rule change that would give nursing homes more authority to decide how much time an infection control preventionist has to devote to their facility. The current requirement is “at least part time,” but the change would modify that to “sufficient time,” which is an undefined term that gives more flexibility for facilities to decide.

The rule would also change the requirement for frequency of facilitywide assessments from every year to every other year.

What’s the argument in favor of this change? Some medical officials believe the current federal government regulations are too burdensome, and not effective in improving infection control at nursing homes. The change also wouldn’t require less infection control, but it would allow facilities to have more if they felt it was needed.

“This is a person-centered approach to care and would allow CMS to hold facilities accountable by having the infection preventionist onsite full time, especially in times of an outbreak,” a CMS statement said last week, USA Today reported.

Gregory Johnson, the chief medical officer for the Good Samaritan Society, said strict regulations can prevent facilities from allocating resources where they’re most needed, and the annual assessment, of which infection control is a small part, is a time-intensive process.

“Sometimes regulation hinders us from putting resources where we know they need to be,” Johnson told USA Today.

What’s the argument against the change? The COVID-19 pandemic has severely hurt nursing homes. Roughly 25% of all the coronavirus deaths in the United States have been nursing home deaths. Infections have always been a big problem for nursing homes, and COVID-19 has highlighted that issue in an unprecedented way.

According to CMS, between 1.6 million and 3.8 million infections occur in the nation’s 15,600 nursing homes, with about 388,000 deaths attributed to infections.

Who will make the decision? CMS said the proposal is still under review. The agency has the authority to change the regulations for nursing homes without legislation.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Intelwars Nursing homes

About 25% of US coronavirus deaths have been nursing home residents and staff

Roughly 25% of all documented coronavirus deaths in the United States have been nursing home residents or staff, according to data compiled and released by states, USA Today reported.

More than 16,000 people have died of COVID-19 in nursing homes in the United States because nursing homes present a lethal combination of high-risk patients and an environment in which the virus can thrive and easily be spread. More than 2 million Americans live in such facilities, according to the CDC.

“More needs to be done,” said Rhonda Richards, senior legislative representative at AARP, according to USA Today. “The number of deaths is appalling. We can’t overstate the gravity of this situation.”

Nearly 100,000 nursing home residents and staff members have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to available data compiled by USA Today from states, and that data is incomplete due to inconsistency in the level of reporting from state to state, and six states not providing data.

More than 5,700 facilities across 46 states have had at least one resident or staff member test positive for COVID-19. Some have been hit particularly hard, such as one facility in Maryland that has had 97 infected residents and 34 deaths, or two veterans homes in New Jersey that have seen a total of 97 deaths.

One problem in nursing homes has been the lack of personal protective equipment and access to testing. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is now sending PPE to nursing homes across the nation. In Illinois, workers at 64 homes plan to strike for hazard pay and better protection.

The coronavirus is significantly more dangerous to elderly people and those with underlying health conditions. It survives longer in indoor, temperature-controlled environments and spreads rapidly when people are in close contact with one another. All of those factors exist in many nursing homes.

Additionally, some nursing homes, such as those in New York have been required to readmit patients even if they test positive for COVID-19 as a matter of state policy.

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New York has a policy of admitting people with coronavirus into nursing homes, with disastrous results

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he wasn’t aware that his state had a policy of allowing the admission and readmission of people who had tested positive for COVID-19 into nursing homes, the New York Post reported.

What’s the story? Nearly 3,500 of New York’s coronavirus-related deaths have been people from nursing homes who either died in their residences or in hospitals. More than 2,000 of those deaths occurred in New York City.

New York health commissioner Howard Zucker said that despite the heightened fatality rate of COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes, residents who had the highly-contagious virus were allowed back into their residences to be around an extremely vulnerable population, as long as some precautions were observed.

Zucker elaborated on the policy during a Monday press briefing. From the New York Post:

“The necessary precautions will be taken to protect the other residents there,” he said during Cuomo’s daily coronavirus briefing in Albany.

Zucker was asked to explain how the policy could be justified, given how state officials have repeatedly said how quickly the virus can spread and how vulnerable nursing home residents are to COVID-19.

“And that’s why we’re working closely with the nursing home leadership and the individuals who are working in the nursing homes to protect those individuals who are coming back who have COVID-19 and went back to the nursing homes and where they came from,” he said.

Cuomo unaware? Earlier this week, Cuomo said he was not aware of the nursing home admission policy regarding COVID-19. And Wednesday, even as thousands of New York residents had died of the coronavirus, Cuomo emphasized that it wasn’t his job to provide personal protective equipment to nursing homes that were ordered to admit coronavirus patients.

“We have been helping them with more PPE but, again, it’s not our job,” Cuomo said, the Post reported.

“You’ll be out of business if you’re not providing your staff with the right equipment. You’re out of business. That we can do,” Cuomo said. [Nursing homes] have to do the job they’re getting paid to do, and if they’re not doing the job they’re getting paid to do, and they’re violating state regulations, then that’s a different issue—then they should lose their license.”